Suspended state prison lieutenant faces trial

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A suspended lieutenant with the State Correctional Institution Pittsburgh accused of embezzling more than $12,000 meant for the prison's honor guard waived his preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Lt. Joseph Ober, 44, of West View, faces charges of theft, access device fraud and unlawful use of a computer. A fraud examiner with the State Department of Corrections wrote in a criminal complaint that Lt. Ober sometimes deposited money meant for the honor guard into his personal account and sometimes used an ATM to withdraw money or a computer to transfer money from the honor guard account into his personal account.

"We dispute the figures that they've come up with and, naturally, many of the things that have been alleged in terms of how he was handling those funds and seeking reimbursement," said Lt. Ober's attorney, Stephen Colafella.

Mr. Colafella said he and his client, who is not receiving pay during his suspension, are working with investigators to "make sense of" a myriad of documents investigators compiled while working on the case.



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